At issue during the Sept. 29 hearing will be a proposal to create a separate administration for trucks and buses at the Department of Transportation. Also on the table are wide-ranging safety reforms, such as tough new requirements for getting and keeping a commercial driver's license, and requiring new truckers to prove they understand the safety rules.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX, chairman of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, will run the hearing. Once the bill, called the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1999, clears the subcommittee and the Senate Commerce Committee, it will go to the Senate floor. If it passes there, the Senate will hammer out a compromise between its bill and the one now working its way through the House.
Witnesses at next week's hearing have not been announced, although the list is likely to include representatives from all sides of the transportation safety community.